ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Updated on May 9, 2015

The Poster

The Review

A Review by: Jeff Turner

Dir: Sam Taylor-Johnson

Written by: Kelly Marcel

Distributed by: Focus Features, Trigger Street Productions, Michael De Luca Productions.

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eloise Mumford, Luke Grimes, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden

Very mixed emotions going into this thing. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is the first film in some time that is written by a woman, directed by a woman, adapted from a book written by a woman, and starring a woman in some time. The downside? Said book was based off of a fan-fiction. Yeah; this made me weep inside. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY is awful. Akin to somebody adapting one of the fan fictions I wrote in the 7th grade into a multi-million dollar blockbuster.

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a bookwormy type who has never released her ‘inner goddess’ (those infamous passages from the book were left on the cutting room floor, shout out to director Sam Taylor-Johnson for making the picture slightly less miserable). She interviews billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) who comes off less like a businessman and more like a 10 year old playing dress-up.

Seriously, I doubt Dornan could have done much to salvage the material even if he gave a good performance. Dakota Johnson gave a good performance and it didn’t help the film as much as it needed, but he really does not make a good case for himself. Part of this is the American accent, which Belfast-born Dornan doesn’t seem to have quite mastered yet. Who even knows, Dornan could end up making it, he was pretty good on THE FALL after all….portraying a serial killer.

That makes a good segue into my first big problem with the movie. Christian Grey is not “sexy”, he’s creepy, really, really creepy. One of his big draws is he has a contract, that Anastasia has to sign before they get intimate. One of the things it requires is that she never speaks about their relationship, his lawyer recommends it, he says. How fast would a girl sprint from this guy in a realistic situation? Dornan could be good, he should audition to play a crazed murderer on HANNIBAL. It’s a good show, good gig.

Things get kinky, because Christian is into being a 'dominant.’ Only he’s never consistent about it. He says he doesn’t do romance, and then he takes Ana on a romantic plane ride. He buys her a car as a romantic gesture. The bloke can’t make up his bloody mind. Do I prefer this Christian, with motivations that don’t make any sense and behavior that’s slightly creepy? Do I prefer it over the sociopath EL James tried to sell as a likable, sympathetic, bad boy anti-hero in her book? I don’t know, but it doesn’t work. I did not buy him at all.

The screenwriter, Kelly Marcel, was fighting an uphill battle from day one. Does she openly offend everyone and their mother by sticking with the original source material religiously? Or does she alienate the fan base by making fun of the source material? She apparently chose both, which is unfortunate, as it ends up, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY doesn’t figure out what it wants to be.

The movie lacks a solid third act, ending just in the middle of what would be considered the second act. This is due predominately to the pacing of the book, which features a bunch of situations where sex happens and then just ends abruptly.

I’m going to digress, and sing some praises of FIFTY SHADES. There are things that are actually working here. Dakota Johnson for one, is very charming. She actually takes this role and makes this character somewhat palatable. This girl actually sticks up for herself, she’s sassy, she’s got personality. Marcel, Johnson, and Taylor-Johnson do respectable work revising this character. Taylor-Johnson actually manages to make a lot of the scenes in this film look pretty good. The “playroom” as Christian referred to it (leading to snickers induced by my audience) actually has a palette that is enjoyable to look at. The opening sequence also stands out, with wisely chosen music to go over the credits. The choices of music were pretty good in general.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY won’t be the worst movie I’ve seen all year, if this year goes like last year it will probably be on my list due to the fact that I see maybe 15 bad movies on average, but it won’t be high. There’s plenty coming out that look to be tougher sits. I’ve got to segue into how this movie relates to feminism, because that’s a hot button discussion right now. There are plenty of women on both sides of the discussion that I know and respect. My two cents is that one of the important parts of feminism as it continues to grow is to not confine women to a specific opinion on a specific thing. (I.e. if a woman enjoyed FIFTY SHADES, they enjoyed FIFTY SHADES, more power to them). Does this make me like the movie? No. Not in the slightest. As a critic I cannot recommend FIFTY SHADES OF GREY to anyone. Its most cardinal sin is how ungodly boring it is. A film with this much sex should not be this bloody dull.

Rating: *½

Suggestion: Skip it

The Trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)